Description of Saving Faith
Because of a misguided medical diagnosis as an orphaned child, Jack Fenian was never adopted. Now, two years after leaving the orphanage, he works as a repossessor for a used card dealer.
One night, he enters a bar looking for Ev Sorin, whose car Jack has mistakenly towed. Expecting violent anger, he is surprised when Ev reacts with indifference; but as Jack soon discovers, Ev – a disgraced journalist – has bigger problems on his mind.
The next day, in the same courthouse to which Jack and Ev have gone to arrange for the release of Ev’s car from the impound lot, a nurse and young woman sit in a crowded courtroom opposite a row of lawyers, asking the judge to keep alive a comatose patient whose true identity is unknown but who has been given the name Faith Powers. After the hearing, Ev seeks out the nurse – not for years has he done a real story, and he feels a sudden urge to be a journalist again. It is an urge that will connect Jack with Clare, the troubled young woman who appears to have an almost fanatical attachment to Faith. Intrigued with Jack’s role as a repossessor, Clare sees him as a kind of modern moral prophet.
Although the characters initially focus on investigating Faith’s real identity, they eventually come to use Faith as a catalyst for changing their own lives. But not until a seemingly random shooting occurs in the city do the characters become truly immersed in the mysteries of the patient and of each other.
Reviews of Saving Faith
Saving Faith is a rare accomplishment, a philosophical novel of ideas with an allegorical structure and popular appeal. The style appears to be plain, but “Everything is more than it seems.” Cast in the form of a mystery, it evokes the fundamental mysteries of life, combining popular with high art. The narrative is poignant in tone, humanistic in perspective and rich in ironies, similes and wit.
Patrick Garry has emerged in the tradition of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Flannery O’Connor, allegorical writers with moral visions that have a striking clarity and power when contrasted to novels by even the best postmodernists, such as Thomas Pynchon or Don DeLillo. Garry is strongest where the New York postmodernists are weakest, in vision—in showing us ourselves with historical perspective, an objective sense of proportion, psychological insight and spiritual depth.
The young narrator is Jack, an orphan who grew up in an institution, one of the many young people today who were conditioned to feel unwanted in a society dominated by narcissistic adults. “In the orphanage we were all mistakes,” he observes. The opposite of most Americans in the past, with their great expectations, he has no expectations at all: “The key to finding love, I figured, was to find someone who didn’t want to be in their own home.” What he misses most about the orphanage is “being around people who believed, despite the odds.” To survive in the cynical and corrupt world outside the institution, he learns, a person must be able to place faith in something, however unlikely. Love, in particular, depends upon faith.
At the center of this novel, giving birth to its allegory, is an otherwise unidentified patient called Faith Powers, who demonstrates the powers of faith by reviving the lives of those around her while herself remaining comatose. Jack’s personal life seems empty until he happens into the room of Faith, where he meets the nurse who keeps her alive, befriends a disgraced journalist who uses her to revive his career, and gets involved with a confused modern woman who talks to Faith as if praying, or talking to the best part of herself. As he gets to know the people who care about Faith, Jack compares them to orphans with unrealistic hopes.
Insightful satire and wit display the range of Garry’s fiction. His greatest appeal as a writer, beyond even his talent for allegory, is his overall perspective and elegiac tone, both here and in his deeply moving previous novel In the Shadow of War. His writing has a soul. It is redemptive and sustains a loving spirit of compassion, sacrifice and transcendence.”
–Midwest Book Review
Saving Faith by Patrick Garry is one of those books whose greatness will creep up on you as you gradually allow yourself to be absorbed into the storyline. A hospital is about to be demolished and an unidentified, comatose patient will, in all likelihood, be allowed to die as she is removed from life support. Ev Sorin is a disgraced journalist whose car has mistakenly been towed by “repossesser,” Jack, an unassuming man who lived most of his life in an orphanage. When Jack tracks Ev down in a local bar to inform him of the mistake, the two strike up an immediate friendship, which will lead them to an unlikely place – the local courthouse. While Ev gets caught up in the story of Faith, Jack gets caught up in many of life’s lessons. As a naïve late-teen, Jack has no experience in love, friendship and the complexities of life. But the young man is a fast learner and when he digs in his heels, he facilitates his own growth as well as that of Ev and the women attempting to save Faith. The investigation surrounding the death of a young woman gives the reader just enough information to allow a thought-provoking exploration of one’s own life.
More than a fiction novel, Saving Faith is a philosophical exploration of the choices one makes (or doesn’t). It is a story of dissonance reduction and how chance meetings and seemingly isolated events can either facilitate or retard personal growth. Garry does a marvelous job of endearing us to his characters and he makes them just fallible enough and just courageous enough so that we can begin to understand the true nature of the concept of humanity.
-Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews
Two years after leaving the orphanage he grew up in, Jack Fenien has now found his place in the world as a car repossessor. Yes, repossessor is not a “real word” but that is what Jack is! After Jack repossesses the wrong car, he sets out to find the owner of the vehicle so he can assist him in getting back the car. Jack finds Ev at a local dive bar, to his surprise, has to work hard to convince Ev that he is not joking. Ev’s car was really towed and they needed to work it out at the courthouse the next day, thus the beginning of an awkward friendship.
Ev, the former journalist, and Jack, the repossessor, run into a couple of women at the courthouse fighting for the life of a comatose patient who no one can identify. This entices Ev’s itch to get in on a good story. This chance encounter at the courthouse leads both Jack and Ev into the lives of other colorful characters that are all determined to save Faith.
While bonding with “Saving Faith,” Jack is a character who has been left behind by his birth parents and never adopted because of a wonky medical diagnosis. I could not help but to love his innocence and feel for his situation. But Jack wasn’t mad at the world; he just didn’t have high expectations of people or for love for that matter. After meeting Ev and listening to his cynical views towards women, Jack indulges in experiences he probably would have never had. Both characters together make for some ridiculous outlooks on life and create friendships that are so off balanced that I couldn’t help but to laugh.
Patrick M. Garry writes with a laid back style that is sure to prove that no one should take themselves so seriously. The transition between character points of view was excellent and the flow of the story was perfect. As more characters were introduced, the deeper the story went. With unlikely friendships and an even more unlikely romance, this satire is sure to make readers giggle and even shake their head from time to time.
-Savannah Mae Book Reviews
SAVING FAITH, by Patrick M. Garry, is an exceptional novel, written with humor, compassion and heart. The protagonist, Jack Fenian, is an orphan who has lived most of his life in St. Xavier Orphanage, is just short of twenty-one years old, and works as a repossessor of vehicles. As an orphan he learned not to expect much out of life and to be grateful for what he had. This background makes Jack an extraordinarily interesting character. His unruffled nature calms those around him, and he always has a few wise words to share with others, lessons he learned as a child. The plot develops slowly, but with great skill. Jack weaves his way around some obstacles he can’t avoid with the pure wisdom of an adult who learned as a child to stay in the background. As he becomes involved with the effort to save a hospital that is scheduled to be torn down, he meets several interesting well-drawn, characters, and his life is changed for the better.
Altogether, this is a fascinating read, giving the reader an insight into those persons raised in orphanages. The ending is not what one might expect, but it is certainly satisfying.
-Writers’ Digest Book Awards
Saving Faith is a novel that lingers in your mind, as though it were written by a Zen master. Are there happy endings, what is happiness, what is your perspective? It seems like a simple story until you try to relate it to someone and then its complexity surfaces. The heart of this novel and why it lingers is the orphan Jack Fenian’s perspective about life and love. Most of us are not orphans and have families which have had an impact on our lives. We are part of a family, have memories, photos, take it for granted and blame parents for our problems.
Patrick Garry is an excellent writer with a gift for connecting with his readers in a subtle yet provocative way. Saving Faith is well written, well edited, and highly recommended. Link for whole review.
–Kaye Trout’s Book Reviews
Patrick M. Garry is a skilled writer, and this novel’s story flows smoothly across the pages. Garry’s characters are believable and I’m certain that readers from all walks of life will be able to empathize with the various struggles, circumstances and positions these characters find themselves in. While “Saving Faith” does have some religious aspects, Garry did a great job of using those messages as appropriate material/stepping stones for this novel, versus a heavy handed approach that can turn readers away. “Saving Faith” also had a very philosophical look at life through the eyes of an orphan, (Jack), which I very much enjoyed. In closing, “Saving Faith” is well worth the read.
Patrick M. Garry’s novel Saving Faith is another example of a very talented author at the top of his game. Garry has a great gift of portraying ordinary people as they deal with unordinary events in their lives. You will know his characters because they are you and your friends and some of the people you don’t like. You will be mesmerized by them as they deal with all facets of life, including death, happiness, sorrow, grief and plenty of humor along the way. The protagonist, Jack Fenian is a terrific character and a young man you will wish were one of you own relatives. The last sentence of the book as well as the entire novel will stay with you long after you have read the last word. I have now read three of Patrick Garry’s novels and can honestly say that if you haven’t, now is a good time to start.
– The Book Club, Tantalk Radio Network
Jack Fenian wasn’t quite old enough to step foot in the Lamplighter Lounge, let alone set one up for Ev as an apology. He owed Everette Sorin big time for getting his car towed, but oddly enough the guy didn’t even seem to mind. Jack was a “repossesor,” an all too frequent employee-of-the-month for Kelly Auto Sales, whose job was always serving up a court order to repossess some poor slob’s car. Ev, a documentary maker, had been jilted by Lyra Benton and the loss of his car was nothing. Seriously, nothing. The two men began to connect and an offer of a ride or two on Jack’s part smoothed things over. One of those rides, a ride to the courthouse was, in retrospect, something they’d never forget.
“She has a name,” Clare Hammond practically shouted out, “she’s a human being.” Jack and Ev got a glimpse of Clare and Irene Valensa as they fought for the life of Faith Powers and Good Shepherd Hospital. If the hospital closed, comatose Faith’s life support would be halted. When Jack was at the orphanage he’d been stuck in an oxygen tent so he could relate. Dr. Leudtke had misdiagnosed him and no family wanted a sick kid. No one cared about him and no one really cared about Faith, an unidentified woman who was found unconscious in an alley. The whole fiasco sparked an interest in Ev and he wanted to know the real scoop. Why were these women so anxious to save Faith?
Irene, Faith’s nurse, was looked upon as “the leader of a group of people interested in saving the lives of patients like Faith,” but a small current turned into a riptide after a drive-by shooting took the life of Emily Zailles. Emily was on the other side of the fence and getting her out of the way … well, it just might help Good Shepherd, but now the cops were investigating Irene. The story was looking more interesting to Lyra, who was one of CNN’s star journalists, but no way Ev wanted her help. A body on the pavement and one that might be snuffed out by an uncaring society pushed an unlikely duo together. Jack and Ev only had so much time to figure out just who Faith really was in order to save her, but could they? And why was Clare showing up at Jack’s apartment all hours of the night?
This is a mesmerizing story of faith, love, and hope in people who only have a modicum of any of those three desirable elements in their own lives. The “faith” is embodied in an unidentified comatose woman dubbed “Faith,” a woman whose very existence moves those around her to examine the meaning of their lives. The tale definitely has a good hook, one that kept me interested as I too wondered what Faith’s future would hold. The characters quickly became enmeshed in each others’ lives after a chance meeting and a quick glimpse into a courtroom. The premise that Jack, someone so young, but so wise beyond his years, would be an associate of Ev and Lyra’s was somewhat unbelievable, yet worked. The twists at the end whirl as they bring a sudden and unexpected conclusion to this uniquely mysterious tale.
If you want to reexamine the meaning of life, simply looking at its mysteries through Jack Fenian’s eyes is definitely an eye-opener!
–Feathered Quill Book Review
Saving Faith is primarily concerned with relationships, using Jack’s orphan status to give him an outsider’s perspective on human interaction…. The characters must all find their own way out of the trap their lives have set for them, and Garry deftly illustrates their struggles with compassionate affection.
Saving Faith is a thoughtful and tender work of philosophy, exploring human relationships from the point of view of people too wounded to relate completely to themselves or to each other.
Both suspenseful and engaging, the author has an excellent command of plot construction and is particularly adept at character development. His viewpoint character, the young car repossessor named Jack, grew up as an orphan and his thoughts and evaluations of the worlds of both glamorous journalism and selfless health care workers are unique. His interactions with Clara, his eventual love interest, are also fresh. Meanwhile, the author’s themes, ostensibly religious, are allowed a vehicle for expression in Jack’s and Clara’s confrontations with a “value-free” world that is late nineties America. The denouement is atypical, all the heroines essentially being killed off, and justice never really being served. Humanism, in all its guises, is subverted by the author to a Morality. His philosophical commitment to this moral stance precludes any emotional payoff at the end. The result is both disturbing and thought provoking.
–US Review of Books
Saving Faith “shows inherent strengths in dialogue,” with language that is “forceful and fitting.” The narrative intervals, “provide an incipient rhythm of location and analysis.” And the “linguistic dynamic is forceful and commanding of the reader’s attention, and it conveys a definiteness of encounter and feeling and emotion.”
-Dr. George Panichas, University of Maryland and editor, Modern Age
With a building on the front cover, Patrick Garry doesn’t give us much of a clue as to what his book will provide us. And the title doesn’t really provide much more, does it? Sure, Faith is a central character, except she won’t say a word… She’s been unconscious for five years. Faith Powers is a name that was given to her as an unidentified patient soon after she was brought into the Good Shepherd Hospital…
A hospital which through “the possibility of some sinister conspiracy is going to be shutdown” and destroyed… In fact, most of the hospital has been evacuated, except for the wing that holds the elderly and those who are in comas of some length…
Obviously, you will quickly realize that one of the easiest ways to vacate many of them would be through pulling the plugs on the machines that are keeping them alive…
And that’s the dilemma…Who speaks for Faith?
Except, a motley small group has taken up her cause…
…[T]he intrigue comes from the characters. This unique look into the “why” of caring, of putting the life of another as a driving force in your own life reveals much about ourselves.
I was reminded of Dean Koontz’ Odd Thomas novels by this book. There is hidden meaning that readers will enjoy as they see characters interaction, but you all know that I love a good murder mystery, so my interest increased as the action started…
– Full review by Glenda Bixler at Book Reader’s Heaven.
Saving Faith is a philosophical book that gave me much to think about. It is a lovely novel.
There are plenty of plot twists in Patrick M. Garry’s novel, Saving Faith. It raises a whole number of philosophical questions as its narrator, a 20-year-old Jack Fenian, finds himself drawn into the life of a former journalist, Ev Sorin, whose car he has had mistakenly repossessed for a car dealership. While in court they watch a hearing on whether to keep alive a comatose patient whose identity is unknown and who Clare, a party to the case, is trying to save. Suffice to say this is a very complex story of people seeking to find meaning in their lives and grapple with the big questions of life. The novel follows four characters and their various motivations as they come together to save the patient. This is Garry’s eighth novel, many of which have won awards over the years. It is not light reading, but it is a story that will draw you in and keep you engrossed.
–Bookviews by Alan Caruba, charter member of National Book Critics Circle
Saving Faith is of novel of chance encounters that entwines the fate of both its main and minor characters. Not exactly the same, but for movie buffs, you might find yourself being reminded of the 2002 movie, Changing Lanes, starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson.
The story begins when Jack Fenien, a never adopted orphan who has been out of a Catholic orphanage for two years and now works as a repossessor for a used car dealer and who begins the story when he reposes the wrong car.
The story evolves as one chance encounter leads to another, starting with Ev Sorin, a disgraced journalist looking to get his career back on track and the man whose car Jack accidently reposed. Sorin, minus his car for a few days, hires Jack as his driver.
More and more characters are added along the way but the character that unites all of the character turns out to be Faith Powers, a comatose patient in a hospital whose true identity is unknown.
The story is told in the first person with Jack as the narrator. Although he tries to be objective and disinterested, he finds himself trying to help solve the mystery of what happened to Faith and along the way falls in love with a young woman, Clare, who is not a nurse but has an obsession of caring for Faith.
One murder leads to more as the characters come closer to discovering the how and why of Faith’s comatose condition. All of the characters have all too human flaws and none can be pegged as either the good guys or the bad guys.
It is the reality of these flawed characters that draw you to an ultimate conclusion you never saw coming.
Highly Recommended, especially for those who love trying to sort truth from lies and discover who is guilty of what, if guilty of anything but being human.
-Peter Klein, Allbooks Reviews
The characters were good, each played a role in their own discovery. … I was always engaged, always wanting to see what will happen next. Jack antics and decisions made me say to myself, “no don’t do it.” But for some reason it works out every time. I connected with all of characters … All [their] problems, the author managed to come full circle and connected a well written witty and dramatic and I mean D-R-A-M-A of a story. Thank you so much for a great read.
-Darlene Cruz, Goodreads (5 Star review)
This is an interesting and enjoyable story, with characters that are likeable and believable. Well done.
-The Benjamin Franklin Literary Awards
SAVING FAITH is about doing the right thing while questioning our choices. There are not always easy and obvious answers. The perspective of success and life is strictly up to the individual.
With Jack’s childhood in the orphanage, he witnessed many children ecstatic when adopted but also their immense disappointment when they were often returned, rejected back to the orphanage. Jack figured that he was fortunate since no one wanted a sickly child who needed an oxygen tent for survival, so that he had no expectations of happily ever after and didn’t suffer the rejections of life.
SAVING FAITH is a well-planned story with the mystery of Faith’s identity as well as a drive-by shooting situation while all the characters seem to be in need of someone saving each of them. Dealing with people and relationships is difficult and doesn’t always follow the path we want. Faith, even though comatose, is the one thing that these characters have in common. They each independently make their own choices while each attempting to save her. In doing this, each of them learns a little more about themselves, their friends and families, and life.
–Teri Davis, Best Sellers World
Have you ever read a book and wondered if you were reading two stories? There is the story the book is about and then there is the story in the background…There are writers that take on more levels than just two. I can not imagine how hard it would be to write several different stories at once, keeping all the threads there and interwoven into a coherent tale. Life is like that, though, with stories upon stories all happening at once.
Saving Faith, by Patrick M Garry, not only tells several tales, even the name of the book doubles as the title of both the under story and the main story. Did Garry mean to do this? I believe so. His choice of Faith as a woman’s name which can also be faith, as in belief, seems too perfect.
I read this book straight through in less than 24 hours. Garry has an engaging writing style that makes his story easy to read and engaging. He also has unique similes that I simply had to mark.
Try: She jumps on causes and trends like cheerleaders do on Homecoming parade floats.
Or: She dug into the envelope like a hungry bear into a tourist’s cooler.
Good similes should be short, to the point, and quite graphic. Too many authors try too hard when it comes to them. Garry seems to know exactly what makes them both clear and memorable.
I liked the book. Readers who are looking for a slice of real life in a story should find this book a good read. Because of the themes, I would not suggest this one to anyone under fifteen or sixteen and only at that age if you are ready for a real life story. (Think To Kill a Mockingbird).
– Sunday Smith, A Book a Day Reviews
In Saving Faith, the story begins to unfold in a brisk manner with all the subplots twisting and turning unexpectedly as is Garry’s style. Along the way, there is love, romance, successful or unsuccessful, intrigues, affairs-Illicit or otherwise, betrayals, white collar crime galore, action, adventure, and even a few murders. And the ending? Well, that’s the best part. It is a pity I can’t reveal it but I assure you, the readers would not be happy if I did. Let me just say this: when you’re almost finished reading the book, take a moment or two and jot down your prediction on how the story will end. Afterwards, read what you wrote down. I can almost guarantee that your prediction will be wrong.
I became a fan of Patrick Garry after I read his book “A Bomb Shelter Romance.” I like the characters he creates, I like the plots he concocts, and in general, I like his writing style. He also manages to keep one step ahead of his readers at all times, thus sustaining their interest without revealing too much of the ending—a skill all good novelists possess. Not surprisingly, his eight previous novels have garnered numerous literary awards.
As I stated in the previous book review, “one national book review called Patrick Garry ‘the best unrecognized American novelist writing today.’ In my opinion, he is a talented writer who is ready for prime time; and I look forward to the day when the word ‘unrecognized’ is removed from his credentials”. Bottom line: “Saving Faith” is another very readable and well-written book by Patrick Garry, and it deserves a place on your bookshelf. It’s a winner!
-Blogger News Network
Patrick M. Garry has an awesome writing style that I really enjoy. I found myself laughing at the ridiculous things Ev would say to Jack and then Jack’s reactions to the people around him. “Saving Faith” is not a religious book, although it could appear by the title to go that way. Faith happens to be a comatose patient in a local hospital that is going to be torn down. As characters make their way into the story, they find their part in wanting to save Faith even though they do not know her identity.
This story line is entertaining to say the least. This laid back presentation of satire really had me laughing and falling in love with the fictional characters along the way. I can’t wait to see what Patrick M. Garry does next! I highly recommend “Saving Faith” to those who can appreciate an author’s jaded sense of humor.
As far as the writing goes, Patrick M. Garry is a skilled writer, and this novel’s story flows smoothly across the pages. Garry’s characters are believable and I’m certain that readers from all walks of life will be able to empathize with the various struggles, circumstances and positions these characters find themselves in. While Saving Faith does have some religious aspects, Garry did a great job of using those messages as appropriate material/stepping stones for this novel, versus a heavy handed approach that can turn readers away. Saving Faith also had a very philosophical look at life through the eyes of an orphan (Jack) which I very much enjoyed. In closing, Saving Faith is well worth the read.
–Charline’s Blog and more…
Winner, 2014 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award
Silver Medalist, 2014 Feathered Quill Book Award
2015 Next Generation Independent Book Award
Finalist, 2014 Beverly Hills Book Awards
Winner, 2014 ReaderViews Literary Award
First Place Winner, 2013 Somerset Maugham Literary Fiction Award
2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Award
2013 New England Book Festival Award
2013 Great Midwest Book Festival Award
2013 The Hollywood Book Festival Award
Winner, 2013 Global Book Contest for General Fiction Category
Winner, 2013 Global Book Contest for Mystery Category